Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy at home

(photo by cerajeanne)

it's great to be home. I got home around midnight last night and I love to be with my hunny and my puppy. it's wonderful to enjoy a relaxing morning - even made enough coffee for THREE cups!! (instead of my usual 2). I call my parents' house every Saturday morning and have a nice long talk with Mom and sometimes Dad, if i'm lucky. I enjoy my coffee mornings with them on the telephone while Landon slumbers in the flannels.

It's a beautiful sun-shiny day here in Utah and I'm so happy to wake up at home!

Okay - can't contain my excitement: McBrayer niece #4 has arrived this morning!!! Nephew #4 arrived a few weeks ago. I've been waiting for pictures of both of them to do an updated post on the "McBrayer family jewels" look for that this week! I praise God for these precious children, we LOVE all EIGHT of them!!! What a joy! So grateful that we have healthy kiddies and mommies. The world just seems so much more beautiful with these children in it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mormon Coffee

So you know that since we have moved here to the Wasatch Front, we have been desperately trying to learn about the LDS culture and religion here. Before I came, i knew that Salt Lake City had the reputation of being the Mormon "hub" of the entire world, but I had NO IDEA how much Mormonism permeated the entire culture here. Even so much as to influence the non-mormons against religion as a whole. It is an amazing disparity between the Mormons and the "Gentiles" out here. I have noticed that the many people who are not LDS are sure to make it known in their appearance: many tattoos, piercings, dress, (im)modesty, etc... So when i'm walking through the grocery store, for instance, it is pretty easy for me to feel completely out of place if all the women surrounding me are dressed modestly with primmed hair styles and three kids in tote.

But yet, I don't really fit in with the non-LDS crowd out here either, although i feel like i'm all-of-the-sudden making some kind of statement when i'm sipping on a latte these days.

Alright, i'm an adult. I don't need to be "in with the in crowd". But I do need a community out here. Landon and I have actually decided on a church here, which makes me VERY excited!!! Check out the website for our church, if you would like: Alpine Church

I'm reading a blog sometimes called Mormon Coffee. I found it when i was searching the internet to see if I could learn more about the LDS General Conference that was in town earlier this month. This blog is put together by a former LDS currently Evangelical Christian. I'm not advocating this blog as being an authority on  Mormonism or on Evangelicalism. It is sometimes a bit opinionated (but hey, it's a BLOG - what would this blog be without my opinions?) but it is also pretty interesting.

Don't worry friends, I am also reading info from other websites to learn more about LDS, like this one: (created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and this one: (created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).  I am definitely not a "seeker". I have no interest in pursuing Mormonism as a prospective faith for me. But I do desperately want to understand and love my neighbors here. Many of my LDS friends have told me that they are available for questions any time that i might have any - i think some of you even read this blog. So thank you so much for that! Right now I don't really have solidified questions, I more am just trying to continue to learn so i'm reading a lot. Let me know if you have any reading suggestions; I am open!

And just a little FYI: I'm leaving for Sacramento for an ACSI convention in an hour, so I will be MIA again this week. Catch up with you on the flip side! Enjoy the snow while I am in sunny California!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Some conversations with JP and Anna this last weekend have me thinking about my Christianity. I don't really even like calling it that. I am committed to pursuing truth. I want to know and represent God. And I'm not really sure that the line between truth and love is really that defined. I think if the TRUTH that I know is Jesus Christ, then love follows - it is not a choice between the two.

Is there really a line? Truth is important. In seeking truth, i have found Christ. And in Christ is Love love love.

In this video, Mr. Religious scares me. He's funny, but he is also a good representation of me sometimes. I hope i can be more like Authentic. I hope I can follow the example of Christ in every little thing, and not be quick to pass judgement or make a statement.

Living Spring Christian Fellowship has put together a whole series of similar videos. They're pretty awesome. Check them out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vegetarian Recipes

For the sisters. And those of you who are trying to eat more vegetarian, these are a few that we really like. I'm going out of town Wed - Fri so this week i am making both of these since we will have plentiful left overs. Landon will be set for dinner for the rest of the week. And the best thing about eating these two for left-overs is that they're just as good a second time!

Both of these recipes are from my favorite cook book, The Sugar Solution Cookbook by "Prevention" (this link will actually take you to the entire cookbook on "Prevention"'s website. definitely go there.) I also included the link to each individual recipe which you can access by clicking on the name of the dish.

Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely choppped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t dried oregano
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 pkg. frozen corn (10 oz)
  • 4 cups [free range] chicken broth
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
In a Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook, stirring often, for 1- minutes, or until tender. Stir in the cumin and oregano.

Add the sweet potato, corn, and broth. Cover, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender. Stir in the salsa and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer.

Ladle into bowls and top each with some of the avocado, cilantro, and extra salsa, if you want to.

Makes 8 first course servings (or 4 -5 main dish servings)
prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 27 minutes.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
This is a standing staple recipe for our family in the winter. I make it probably every three weeks. Some of the ingredients are a little pricey (ricotta AND mozzarella AND parmesan - oh my!) but it makes so much that i usually think of it as buying ingredients for 2 or 3 meals instead of just one.

  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2' thick lengthwise slices
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1' wide strips
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 box (8oz) sliced mushrooms
  • 4 medium carrotts, coarsely shredded (i grate mine)
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (10 oz)
  • 1 container (15oz) reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 jar (26oz) spaghetti sauce
  • 9 no boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat the over to 450 F. Coat bottoms and sides of 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Arrange the zucchini and peppers on the baking sheets. Coat with cooking spray. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender, moving the sheets to the opposite over racks once. Remove sheets and reduce the over temp to 350F

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in the carrots and cook for 1 minute longer. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, and egg until blended.

Spread 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce over the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking dish. Top with 3 of the noodles, overlapping if necessary. Spoon on on-half of the ricotta mizture, spreading to cover the noodles. Top with one-half of the roasted veggies and one-half of the mushroom mixture. Spoon 1/2 C of the sauce over the veggies and sprinkle with 1/2C of the mozzarella. Repeat the layering. Top with the remaining 3 noodles. Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 C mozzarella. Bake for 20 -25 minutes longer, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings
prep time: 35 minutes, cook 1 hour and 10 minutes.

this one is a bit tedious as far as the prep work goes. but it's worth it. we love this.

just do it

I've been thinking a lot lately about some of the desires I have for us - our family - our future.

(driving 191 through Moab from Durango to SLC - photo by Marcus=])

We talked about them a little bit yesterday in the car (on our way home from Durango. Time with family there was A-MAZING and i will share more on that later). Is it realistic to juxtapose a life of adventure with responsibility?

And we were talking about some friends that we have that want to move out west. It's what they've been talking about for years - it seems like it is so important to them. And I wonder why they don't just DO it! Relocating is never convenient, and it is never easy (believe me, i know!). Leaving family in pursuit of your dreams will always hurt them. You will most definitely miss them like crazy. It is scary. It is expensive. There is no way around it. But if it is something that you desire in the pit of your stomach, then at least try it - just do it. I'm not saying to be frivilous or foolish. I'm saying that it will always take sacrifices. Figure out what they are and if they are worth it. And if they are, make a plan and do it.

As I was thinking of them, i was thinking about the desires that I have in my life.  I feel like i'm always waiting for my life to get easy enough to finally pursue this thing that is so important to me. And I realize that my waiting and excusing is just like theirs. Life changes are never convenient. If it is what you really want - then make it happen. Just do it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

lifetime percentages

I was talking to my sister and telling her that I've been with ACSI for over 3 years now. And just saying it out loud sounded like a long time. Having a calculator right in front of me, i wondered what percentage of my life that is....and then i thought.....this is fun:

yeah that's me. (picture by Denae during our senior year. funny.)

So here's the Hannah lifespan percentage stats.
I've been:

  • working for ACSI: 3 years: 75% of my post-grad life
  • a McBrayer: 5 years, 63% of my adult life
  • following Jesus: 18 years: 69% of my entire life
  • living in Colorado: 24 years: 85% of my life (of the other 15%: every year except one has happened since i married the handsome Mr. McBrayer. Blame him for taking me on all these "adventures")
  • wearing braces: 6 years: 23% of my life. by the time i got them off, i had been wearing them 50% of my life. yikes! i'll keep my ortho dr.'s name anonymous - since he did such a great job.
  • wearing glasses/contacts: 14 years: 46% of my life
  • kissing boys: 10 years: 38% of my life - only a particular boy 100% of the last 6 of those 10 years. 
  • in school: 17 years; 65% of my life. Landon's been in school for 20 years; 77% of his entire life. and probably none before his earliest recollections. sheesh.
  • drinking coffee: 7 years: 27% of my life; 88% of my adult life
  • committed to child sponsorship:  8 years: 31% of my life; 100% of my adult life
  • cooking: 5 years; 19% of my life; 100% of my married life.
  • renting/ moved out of M&D's: 8 years: 100% of my adult life
  • singing: 22 years: 85% of my life
  • playing an instrument: 19 years: 73% of my life

Well, that was interesting. Not sure what else needs to be on that list....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Anniversary Hiking Indian Trail

Our anniversary on Saturday was a blast!

Last year I was working for ACSI at a convention on our anniversary. Landon prepared us a quick and delish cheese fondue when i got home that night.

The year before I was completely exhausted from a long week of early mornings at the 'Bucks. We were driving to North Carolina to meet Landon's family at "the mountains". I slept the whole car drive. We camped in Indiana and i woke in a puddle - not kidding - it had poured rain all night long and i didn't notice at all. My hair was soaking wet and my cell phone was totally submerged and didn't ever work again.

Before that, Landon was waiting tables that night but somehow we had a nice dinner and celebrated two years with lots of snow!

Our first anniversary, we celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya with dinner and a movie ("Fever Pitch").

So it was about time we had a smashing anniversary again! Being on a Saturday this year, we could have fun the whole day!

We went for a beautiful hike through Ogden canyon's changing forests on Indian Trail. Thus named because supposedly, it is a trail that was developed by the native Americans as an alternative trail through the canyon when the river below was flooded.

It was beautiful. And fun.

Then we went into Ogden and had a wonderful dinner at Bistro 258 - cute and elegant local place that was very appreciative to have some business.

After that, we walked to the Egyptian Theatre in downtown Ogden where we saw "Dynasty", the Warren Miller film of 2010 ski season. We left late and totally excited for snow!

We even came home and put our skis on!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Celebrating Five Years!

I can see a lot of you in this pic - i love that.  Wasn't that a special day? And it was only the beginning.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

herb storage: an experiment

Just wanted to let you know the results of a recent (unintentional) experiment of mine. Maybe it will be interesting to you.

About a month ago I bought cilantro and parsley. I decided to celebrate their beauty by putting them into a vase instead of tossing them in the refrigerator drawer.

So for about five days i got to enjoy the beauty of these babies while I incorporated them into my recipes. The parsley did much better than the cilantro. The cilantro got kind of mucky. I changed the water every day, and still got less than a week out of them. It was so fun to have them "in" the house though!

A few weeks ago I purchased, once again, the necessary fresh cilantro and parsley for my week's worth of meals. This time i threw them in the refrigerator drawer (like usual). They lasted forever, and ever. Not exactly, but they lasted over a week. But I usually forget they are even in there - that's my fault, not pertinent to the experiment.

So just in case you are ever compelled to leave your herbs out in the open in a vase, know that they won't last long. The fridge is your friend, my dears.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

As I begin this post, a train is chugging by and I hear the picture frame rattle against the wall.

Hot shower, hot coffee, cute puppy dog: great morning.

(wasatch mountains, utah - by photo-john taken just last week)

The last two weekends have been too busy to rock climb. So my finger callouses are steadily peeling off. Next time we climb I will be sore and hurting in many ways.

Autumn arrived to Utah while i was in Portland and has stuck. And i'm glad. I love autumn. Unlike CO, we haven't received any snow except for in the high country.

How amazing to spend each day at the foot of the mountains - snow capped, towering over our town. Each time I glance in their direction i can't help but smile. I've returned to them. They were calling me constantly those two years that i chose the flatlands over their beauty and now they are happy to have received me home. That's how i feel about it, anyway. I have loyalties to the mountains, and they are hard to forget.  In a way we are limited because we've realized that our quality of life is seriously effected by our time spent outdoors, and the mountains are where we want to be. There are many places with mountains, but not as many as the places without. But i definitely don't see living near the mountains as a limitation on our family, and i don't think Doons does either, quite the opposite, actually. They set us free!
well anyways....

It's time for sweater days, hot tea evenings, and flannel sheet nights. I have my autumn wall plug-ins filling the house with autumn's yummiest scents, pine cones around the house, trees turning purple in our yard, and candles burning. The Spring tulips are planted, sprinklers turned off and drained, and windows shut up for the winter. I love this time of year!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love and coffee

(photo by kristen.michelle)

Last night I went to Starbucks to meet a very old and distant friend that I had met and known only 3 months SIX years ago (at a summer job). I randomly ran into her at this same starbucks two weeks ago and though it had been so long since i have seen her and we haven't kept in touch at all, i was near tears as i ran to hug her, "KATRINA, it's me, Hannah, from Summer Project!" Being in a new place, "old" friends are one of my most precious gifts living here. It is so refreshing to have conversations that are not so introductory, not always making first impressions and wondering if you're accepted yet. No, being with old friends, all that muck is out of the way and there is a mutual understanding that we know and accept each other, no matter how changed, even.

For me, a perfect day would involve sitting at Starbucks with someone else, talking and enjoying coffee. I'm not sure how this has become such a sacred thing for me, especially after working at 'Bucks these last two years. But it hasn't lost its meaning.

In college, God had put inside of me a heart for loving women. I still believe that God has created women so beautifully and unique and many of them do not know how truly precious they are in his sight - that he actually DANCES over them with SINGING!!! Our God, created every person so lovingly and loves each one with commitment and sacrifice. And I think that in this world, women, especially, can't believe it! And as I met with women, i saw many of them suffering deeply and healing mightily and just trying to figure out how to grow from girls into women. And i loved watching them grow and watching God move, and most of this happened over a cup of coffee (the watching, not necessarily the growing).

Yes, the coffee shop atmosphere is so special to me. My best friend in college and I would get together once a week to offer each other prayers and accountability and love at our local Starbucks. Even still, though i only see her twice a year, we meet up at a Starbucks between her town and my parent's town in Colorado every time.

I had a wonderful woman in my life who spent time with me weekly at our local coffee shop. She encouraged me and inspired me and really loved me as I was trying to figure out what God had in store for my life. She prayed with me through huge decisions like getting married, moving to Kenya, etc... And each week, we prayed together and studied the Bible together!!

And whenever I am home, my favorite times are sitting in the kitchen with some coffee, talking to my family - somehow this atmosphere opens the table for some really intimate and deep conversations. Just now remembering mornings with Dad, Mom, evenings with Janelle, and afternoons with my Grandmother, all precious conversations over coffee (and probably some dessert).

Still, when i get together with many of my friends and family, there is coffee during conversation. I have a hard time drinking my coffee on the go. For me, it is to be enjoyed slowly, inviting quality time. It is more than just a cup of caffeine, it is a cup of love!

How amazing, the people that i have known and the relationships that have grown over a cup of coffee. Ahhhh! And just writing this makes me miss you all so much right now.

Ha, and i'm also thinking that for some of us it was actually beer, and not coffee, wasn't it? ha!

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Every Word was Once a Poem"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

(photo by alexey05)

I've been having a harder time sleeping lately. So I've been getting out the old books of poetry. I wish that I could weave words like those.

I find poetry so relate-able. It's all the things I've always wanted to say but never knew quite how. Some people think poetry is dumb. I get it - there are certain voices in writing that get on my nerves too - they are too dramatic or fluffy - not entirely honesty.  But not the poem. Poetry is honest.

I think my love for poetry is rooted in the same that holds my love for music. Don't you think that music and poetry are so similar? Not to mention the fact that poetry put to music is awesome - i'm thinking patty griffin and ani defranco here. but also, the way that simple individual notes are woven together to create something entirely new and honest - something that could touch you deeply forever. Words are that way too.

What power, what privilege to create such beauty with words or notes. These tiny creations that are such unique portraits of the author, outlasting time and fashion. It's amazing, really.

Take a minute today to read a poem. If you don't have books of poetry at home, here's a simple online resource. Or you can check out the "labels" on my side bar and click on the poetry category. You'll see past poems that i've posted here before.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

hiking Kaysville

Landon's been itching to take me into the canyon at the top of our street. It was a beautiful hike. Always and entirely uphill. And the foliage was amazing. Maples. Scrub oak. Stream. Solitude. It was great.
a view of our town from the canyon

Landon and Duvick with the trees on the trail

beautifully clear water in the stream

stream dividing the forest: evergreens on the south side, maples on the north

Landon can't get out without climbing some rocks

Doons on the trail. Sunshine on the leaves.

I like this one.

Me with my friends: the trees

Friday, October 9, 2009

Watching "April Showers"

I know I posted about this movie before.

It was created by a fellow Columbine alumnist. And it is a story about a school shooting, based on the events of the shooting at Columbine in 99. And I've been wondering if I should see it. It came out into select theaters right around the time of the 10 year anniversary of the shooting this year. My local theater was showing it, but I didn't want to pay $10 to see it and possibly breakdown in the middle and have to leave. I decided that i wanted to watch it in private.

Well, it has been available to rent on Netflix and I got it in the mail this week. Landon and I watched it last night. And the scene of the shooting made me really uncomfortable with the noises and the scenes of the shooter walking through the school, blood on the walls, bodies in the halls, etc... brought back purposefully forgotten memories.

But somehow I got some comfort from it.

We didn't really talk much about it, my friends and I, not much. it was more just, "how are you doing?", "are you sleeping okay?" type of stuff, not really TALKING about it. But all that we were dealing with after that day was hard to go through feeling alone, yet we didn't want to share it with others.

And somehow, it was comforting to witness someone else's story and feel not so alone in it all. Even if it was just a movie.

I wouldn't say the movie was enjoyable. Landon kept asking me, "was it really like that?" and actually the movie was so much like it really was. I think it was good to watch it together. Not that Landon really needs to know these details - it's not like i'm still sleeping with the light on. But he and I haven't really talked about it much at all and I think it's good to share some of this with him. There are definitely some hurts from his childhood that I wish i knew more of so that I could support him better, even if it is simply a deeper understanding.

All in all, I'm glad we rented it and got to watch it together. I didn't have nightmares last night, it didn't send me into a relapse of post-traumatic stress, I didn't cry through it. It was good.

What I've written about the Columbine shooting recently:
Remembering Columbine, April 20, 2009
...continued, April 21, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

family visit

We had so much fun with Landon's parents. We tried to give them a good taste of Utah, even though we haven't been here very long to know the delicacies ourselves. It was wonderful to have them here. Lots of time in conversation, playing cards, and eating :)

On the day they arrived, we took Mike and Charleen into the mountains a bit. We took a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain in Snowbasin. It was beautiful riding over the colorful trees and fresh snow. Seeing the mountains surrounding us made me feel so at home. It was so fun!!

Mike and Charleen on the gondola

Callie, this one's for you. A picture with BOTH of us in it! Us at the top of the mountain

See if you can spot the wildlife:

We spotted 3 moose and 4 deer on our way down the mountain!

Our visit to the Salt Lake Temple - we didn't go IN, of course, but we enjoyed looking around.

Beautiful building. A meeting house in Temple Square, SLC.

But the most meaningful part of their trip you can't put into pictures. We were so blessed to have time with them. With such a huge family, it is rare to have time alone with Landon's parents, so we really cherished that. I felt spoiled, as Landon was studying and in class a lot so i got to spend a lot of time with them doing things that Landon doesn't usually enjoy, like Scrabble and eating at Quizno's. They spoiled me. We miss them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Calling all McBrayers!!!


just a little motivation for those of you on the fence. seriously - i'm definitely going to be the worst skier there. let's make this happen!

(Anna, this is the trailer from last year's Warren Miller film tour. See all the awesome Colorado ski towns. You and JP should rent one from Netflix - they are so fun to watch! Too bad there isn't a showing in Durango this year.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It feels like Christmas

Having Charleen and Mike here visiting us makes me feel so warm and cozy inside. We've had snow on the mountains, rainy days, and late nights of being dominated at cards (why are they always so good!?)

Last night after Landon tucked me in to bed and I was all alone in the room I laid there thinking, this feels like Christmas. Having family that we hardly ever see here in our home, anticipating waking and spending an entire day with them, was something I was reveling with such excitement. It felt like Christmas.

How strange.

But I seriously have been deeply blessed to have Landon's parents here with us these last few days. You know, it's wonderful to share your life with those that you love. Especially a place as beautiful and strange as Salt Lake City - you just have to have been here to really understand it. So i'm glad that they are here. And i can just see the excitement in Landon in our interactions and I know that he is so so grateful to have his parents here with him. Yesterday they asked him to drive them by his campus, and I could tell he was so happy to share that with them.

What a blessing it is to have loving family. We have been here almost two months and we have had both of our sets of parents here to visit, my sister, and JP and Anna helped us move this summer. We are so spoiled with the love and company of family.

Speaking of which, we just bought our season passes to Snowbasin. It's cheaper to ski Snowbasin than most of the other resorts here in Utah (only $62 for a day pass and kids ski free), and it's pretty much a ski place for locals, as there is no lodging near by and all visitors go to Park City. It's less than a 30 minute drive from our house to the base of the lift. Sooooooo, you should come out here! It's snowed twice this last week in the high country, so we should be able to hop on the mountain pretty soon - definitely by Thanksgiving! Open invitation!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Christian, Climber, Artist

Jeremy Collins, Boulder CO

really love this.

Portland debrief

Hey lovies!

Thanks for your prayers about my time in Portland. I am hoping that it was successful - that through my follow-up with the contacts that I've made, we will have some more kids with their tuition paid to their Christian school (among other huge needs) taken care of. I have been traveling with this most precious little boy named Teodor who is an orphan from Moldova and he has been so heavy on my heart to get sponsored (on second reading, it sounds like he is actually with me - no - in fact, i just carrying around his picture and profile info). He's so cute - has his head buzzed right down the middle, but not the rest - such a cutie!

Portland is one of the neatest cities I've ever been to for convention. And coffee flows like water there - i was in heaven, and entirely too caffeinated!

While i was in Portland, I got to spend TWO EVENINGS with some of my best friends: Brandon and Callie (the DelGrosso's). It was amazing. Since I've been having such wonderful preliminary conversations with people out here, it's just moves me so deeply to get to have conversations with people where love and understanding and knowing has been prevalent for many many years - we were in each other's weddings, we supported each other through struggles: spiritual, emotional, physical, and saw each other graduate college, fall in love with our wonderful spouses, struggle in relationships, school, ministry, and "finding our place". How amazing to have friends that understand you so completely. We really do miss this as we have been separated from close friends these last few years. It is such a gift to have the DelGrosso's  in our lives and to have their love and commitment to us still!!! Gosh, it's amazing. no words for that really.

Welp, this is a short post without any pictures. Landon's parents will be here in four hours and we need to spruce up the house a bit and we also need to make a quickish dash into the mountains to purchase a ski pass for the season - the price is excruciating, but it actually goes up tomorrow. So there is much to do here and we are so excited to see family today!!!

Better blogging to come in a few days. Right now i'm just reveling in time with people we love. It's wonderful!